There is a misconception associated with the effect of CBD.
Because of the relationship of this cannabinoid to the species Cannabis sativa, it is often thought to be counterproductive in addressing inattention or concentration.
Many users assume that, since THC (the psychotropic cousin of CBD) makes concentration difficult, CBD has the same effect.
However, this is not true.
The chemical structure of CBD does not allow it to bind to CB1 receptors (associated with motivation and mood) with the same affinity as THC.
Also, in 2018, the World Health Organization conducted a comprehensive analysis of CBD.
After consulting all available research, they concluded that “CBD does not show any indicative effect of abuse or potential dependence“, adding that “to date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD” says TheCBDinsider.com.
Now that we know that CBD does not appear to negatively affect our mental capacity, we can investigate the question: Can it improve our ability to concentrate?
To answer this question we must understand the factors that affect our ability to concentrate.
It could be something as simple as a radio ringing in the background, but when you really need to concentrate, even the slightest noise can be a distraction.
In this case, the solution is simple: eliminate the distraction.
However, it’s not just technology that keeps us from devoting all our attention to our tasks.
Sleep deprivation, stress, and cognitive impairment also greatly influence our ability to concentrate.
The effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance is well documented in an article published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce cognitive function and increase levels of the hormone cortisol.
In general, the average level of cortisol is very useful in promoting the body’s reaction to stress.
However, a second study, this time conducted by the University of Limburg, has found that a high level of cortisol also reduces attention. If we combine the lack of sleep with stress, we have all the ingredients so we can’t concentrate.
If you are one of the millions of people who not only have difficulty sleeping but are also stressed, you might think that there are hardly any options when it comes to trying to improve your concentration.
But it turns out that researchers also believe that remedies are limited, and have begun to turn their attention to CBD.
Although there are no concrete results regarding the direct effect of CBD on attention, there are studies on how this compound affects sleep and stress.
We know that these two factors greatly affect our ability to concentrate, so the results may be vital.
Let’s start with the study on sleep and CBD. For four days, researchers from the Department of Neuroscience and Behavior at the University of São Paulo administered 2.5, 10 and 40mg/kg of CBD to adult rats. The results indicate that “acute administration of CBD appears to increase total sleep time, in addition to its latency in the daylight period”.
Although these results are promising, not everyone finds it easy to fall asleep.
Stress is a factor that disrupts our sleep patterns, so what does the research on CBD and stress indicate?
A study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found that when CBD was administered to rats, they experienced anxiolytic effects through the mediation of the compound’s endocannabinoid signaling.
Although these results suggest the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in stress response management, the results have not yet been replicated in human trials.
What do we know about CBD and concentration?
Based on the above tests, CBD may be a promising remedy for inattention.
Although the compound does not help eliminate distractions such as the telephone or a noisy office, it may influence sleep patterns and the body’s response to stress, two essential factors in restoring concentration.
It is important to note that the above studies, and many others, are still in their preclinical phases or with animal models, and there is still much to learn about the effect of CBD.
If you are interested in the effect of CBD on sleep, stress or concentration, consult your doctor first.
The CBD and the human brain
To say that the science of the human brain is complicated is an understatement. The scientific community understands astrophysics better than the human brain.
More and more research is appearing on how cannabinoids and the brain interact.
A team of Israeli scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made a series of discoveries in the 1960s. They were able to identify the chemical structures of CBD and THC.
Since then, the endocannabinoid system of the human body, the system with which cannabinoids interact, has been discovered. Curiously, humans (and other animals) have developed a biological system that responds directly to cannabis.
Neurons and CBD
The endocannabinoid system has cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. They are linked to the human nervous system which, in turn, is linked to the brain.
Without going into details about neurosciences, we can say that chemicals produce different reactions in different receptors. In the case of CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can decrease their response.
Other receptors associate well with CBD, which can initiate a neural connection through synapses in the brain. The effect CBD has on other chemicals in the brain reveals its potential therapeutic applications.
Substances that do not belong to the cannabinoid family are also affected by CBD. There is evidence that CBD affects opioid receptors.
This means that cannabis may be a promising treatment against opiate addiction, as it alters the brain’s reward mechanism.
Dopamine, the chemical that regulates the sense of reward, also interacts with CBD.
Anandamide is another chemical discovered by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. He called it that because of the Sanskrit word “bliss,” as he observed its impact on human happiness.
However, CBD appears to inhibit the reuptake and degradation of anandamide, thereby increasing the available levels of endocannabinoid.
Also, CBD is believed to stimulate the growth of neurons in the hippocampus. By enlarging the hippocampus, it improves memory and anxiety control.
CBD and other chemicals
The 5-HT1A receptor is involved in the neurotransmission of serotonin.
Serotonin regulates mood, and this particular receptor may be associated with the mediation of anxiety and depression.
CBD is believed to have anxiolytic properties, i.e., it reduces anxiety. There may even be a combined effect in which CBD potentiates the body’s natural cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids.
With all these complicated relationships and chemical interactions, why is CBD considered an increasingly popular therapeutic supplement?
If CBD can stimulate neurogenesis, it can offer a wide range of applications to protect the brain from degenerative diseases.
When CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, it plays a positive role in regulating body temperature, inflammation and pain tolerance.
The potential of CBD to treat chronic pain is an area of particular interest to researchers.
There are cases where patients with epilepsy and other spasmodic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, showed improvements after CBD administration.
Therefore, CBD has potential as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and, of course, an anxiolytic agent.
The anxiolytic effects of CBD were shown to be effective compared to placebo in a study conducted in 2011. Its tranquilizing ability is accompanied by antioxidant properties.
CBD has a lot of potentials, but there is still a lot to learn about this cannabinoid. If you are interested in taking CBD as a supplement, be sure to read informative articles on internet, libraries and other sources.
Consulting your doctor is another good idea before you decide to do anything related with your health.